Keeping Creativity Alive, Even in Hell - The New York Times
She was 44 when she arrived at Theresienstadt, an artist in some ways just beginning to realize her power. In the concentration camp, defying the surrounding grimness, her paintings became colorful again. The show concludes with three portraits of flowers in bloom.
artists  history  HAM 
17 hours ago
[no title]
The Boston College Supported Employment Program offers adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be gainfully employed and supported in a competitive work environment.
2 days ago
Virginia Woolf on Jane Austen's novels | New Republic
She would have devised a method, clear and composed as ever, but deeper and more suggestive, for conveying not only what people say, but what they leave unsaid; not only what they are, but (if we may be pardoned the vagueness of the expression) what life is. She would have stood further away from her characters, and seen them more as a group, less as individuals. Her satire, while it played less incessantly, would have been more stringent and severe. She would have been the forerunner of Henry James and of Proust—but enough. Vain are these speculations: she died “just as she was beginning to feel confidence in her own success.”
writers  writing 
5 days ago
The growing acceptance of autism in the workplace - CBS News
The biggest surprise for him, he says, has been the variety of candidates applying. "Very quickly we started getting resumes from people that had degrees in history, and literature in graphic design, attorneys … the whole gamut of jobs," Velasco said.

"So really, you went into this thinking that people with autism would be good at certain jobs, and what you ended up discovering is they're good at all jobs?" asked Cowan.

"They are good at just about every role."

And they're expected to perform in those roles, just like anyone else.
accessibility  autism  employment 
6 days ago
Meet Steve Saling of ALS Residence Initiative (ALSRI) in Chelsea - Boston Voyager Magazine | Boston City Guide
Instead of carrying all of the power hungry controllers on my wheelchair, I would build them into the building and control them remotely through a central server and everything could be powered on the grid with a generator back up. I knew that permissions could be set so that a single system could serve multiple users. The big problem was that the software did not exist.
als  book 
9 days ago
Announcing “Project Things” - An open framework for connecting your devices to the web. - The Mozilla Blog
We kicked off “Project Things”, with the goal of building a decentralized ‘Internet of Things’ that is focused on security, privacy, and interoperability. Since our announcement last year, we have continued to engage in open and collaborative development with a community of makers, testers, contributors, and end-users, to build the foundation for this future.
opensource  disability  technology 
9 days ago
Walking While Black | Literary Hub
A foot leaves, a foot lands, and our longing gives it momentum from rest to rest. We long to look, to think, to talk, to get away. But more than anything else, we long to be free.
19 days ago
MIT students are being scared straight with episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ | The Outline
“I think the typical engineering education should include more types of activities and courses that teach students to think about why and whether they want to build something,” she said. “I think Facebook, for example, is the typical example of a service that is built by a lot of engineers, and I think they made a lot of mistakes and didn't think enough about all sorts of consequences of choices they made in how they implement things.”

MIT has a complicated relationship with the high tech industry, as any technical school might. Its students often spin off startups or take jobs in the tech and military-industrial complexes, but at the same time, its student body is notoriously political and prone to acts of defiance. Last year, the Media Lab instituted a $250,000 “Disobedience Award” for people challenging norms and laws.
MIT  technology  futures 
23 days ago
Education is not a design problem with a technical solution. It’s a social and political project neoliberals want to innovate away.
4 weeks ago
Suspensions Are Not Support - Center for American Progress
This report presents a new analysis—detailed in the appendix—highlighting the prevalence of suspensions and expulsions among young children ages 3 to 5 attending early childhood programs. It also provides background on these exclusionary disciplinary practices; presents analysis of recent nationally representative data; and explains the consequences of expulsions and suspensions for all children, specifically children with disabilities. Finally, it provides recommendations to ensure that all young children—particularly those with disabilities—reap the full benefits of early learning, including:

Prohibit suspensions and expulsions across early childhood settings
Develop alternatives that proactively address children’s emotional and behavioral needs
Invest in teacher professional development
Reduce teacher stress
Empower teachers with tools to fight implicit bias
Promote meaningful family engagement
disability  race  education 
4 weeks ago
No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear | The Nation
This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
activism  writing 
4 weeks ago
The American Scholar: What Is Freedom of Conscience? - Marilynne Robinson
Conscience can be slow to awake, even to abuses that are deeply contrary to declared values, for example liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And if conscience is at peace with such things, if it rationalizes and endorses them, does it still possess an authority that justifies its expression, since acceptance is as much an act of conscience as resistance is?
politics  book 
7 weeks ago
Prologue to Art, Social Imagination, and Praxis
Imagination, intention: Neither is sufficient.  There must be a transmutation of good will, of what I call wide­awakeness
into action.  Yes, wide­awakeness is an aspect of Maurice Merleau­Ponty’s (1964) view of "the highest level of
consciousness" and Paulo Freire's (2005) conception of  “conscientization.” Both demand reflection and praxis, which are
inseparable from each other.  Both not only imagine things as if they could be otherwise, but move persons to begin on
their own initiatives, to begin to make them so.
book  social_imagination 
7 weeks ago
review of MC Bateson Peripheral Visions and Maxine Greene Releasing the Imagination
If we will learn to see the patterns human beings create as adaptive behavior, then we begin to see the square
patterning in the poverty of the Manila slums as human achievement of survival. "We have come to lack faith in the
resilience and creativity of human order so we lack too the willingness to recognize it where forms differ" (p. 221).
book  design  social_imagination 
7 weeks ago
ROROTOKO : Lauren Berlant On her book Cruel Optimism : Cutting-Edge Intellectual Interviews
I am actually pretty lame at imagining a repaired world. What I provide best are depictions of what makes people stuck in the face of the ordinary pulsations of a fraying crisis.

So Cruel Optimism tracks the rise of a precarious public sphere. It sees the world as in an impasse and a situation beyond the normative good life structures, where people have a hard time imagining a genre that makes sense of life while they’re in the middle of it. I’m saying that intense personal emotions about the shape and fraying of life are also collective, and have to do with an economic crisis meeting up with a crisis in the reproduction of fantasy. I talk about this as a waning of the “good life” genres.
design  futures  book 
7 weeks ago
Can’t Get There From Here — THE BITTER SOUTHERNER
For most people, sidewalk maintenance and accessibility compliance is a non-issue. First of all, most people in Atlanta aren’t doing much walking to get around; the heat and hills provide natural disincentives, plus only 16.9 percent of Atlanta households have no vehicle, according to the Census Bureau's 2010-2013 American Community Survey. Even those who walk tend to treat the decay of Atlanta's characteristic century-old sidewalks — most laid with hexagonal concrete pavers — as a fact of life. For most, the jagged, broken, pothole-ridden cement is just a nuisance. But for others – people like Beth Beckley – broken sidewalks are a matter of life or death. via Alexandra Lange
disability  design  urbanplanning  architecture 
12 weeks ago
How Comic Books Can Get Even Better for Dyslexic Readers - Pacific Standard
Research suggests why comic books can help dyslexic readers make sense of a narrative. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity has noted that, in general, short snippets of text and typographic choices like sans serif fonts, bold text, large letters, plenty of space around characters, and no italics make texts easier for people with dyslexia to read. via Alexandra Lange
disability  graphics  design 
12 weeks ago
Dan Hill: Tactile Cities | Assemble Papers
"Ernesto Rogers says that the job of the architect is to design the spoon, and then the city. I really like that. It’s a bit like my favourite Eliel Saarinen quote: you have to design the chair in the context of the room. Inevitably, at some point, you’re shifting gears."
architecture  scales  book 
november 2017
Why Down syndrome in Iceland has almost disappeared - CBS News
"It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling," he said. "And I don't think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. … You're having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way."

Stefansson noted, "I don't think there's anything wrong with aspiring to have healthy children, but how far we should go in seeking those goals is a fairly complicated decision."
DS  genetics  prenatal_testing 
october 2017
Our Moloch
Gary Wills on gun culture
october 2017
Oakeshott on education and culture – Snakes and Ladders
A culture, particularly one such as ours, is a continuity of feelings, perceptions, ideas, engagements, attitudes and so forth, pulling in different directions, often critical of one another and contingently related to one another so as to compose not a doctrine, but what I shall call a conversational encounter.
ayjay  history  culture 
september 2017
Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Alternatives to Despair - The New York Times
Trump’s campaign used race more cynically and divisively than any in recent memory: He race-baited with birtherism, stoked white-identitarian sentiments and winked at white supremacists and anti-Semites. But while racialist and racist gestures were part of his appeal, they were far from the only forces that persuaded people to cast votes for him. So did his distinctive (for the G.O.P.) economic populism, the overreaching social liberalism of the late-Obama-era Democratic Party, the long shadows of the Iraq War and the financial crisis, gender politics and secularization and the opioid crisis and reality television and much, much more. Trump contained multitudes; so did his support; so — crucially — must any effective political adaptation or response.
race  trump  politics 
september 2017
What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics - The Atlantic
When you construct an entire teleology on one cause—even a cause as powerful and abiding as white racism—you face the temptation to leave out anything that complicates the thesis. So Coates minimizes sexism—Trump’s disgusting language and the visceral hatred of many of his supporters for Hillary Clinton—background noise. He downplays xenophobia, even though foreigners were far more often the objects of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policy proposals than black Americans. (Of all his insults, the only one Trump felt obliged to withdraw was his original foray into birtherism.) Coates doesn’t try to explain why, at one point in the campaign, a plurality of Republicans supported Ben Carson over the other nine candidates, all white. He omits the weird statistic that slightly more black and Latino voters and slightly fewer whites went for Trump than for Mitt Romney. He doesn’t even mention the estimated eight and a half million Americans who voted for President Obama and then for Trump—even though they made the difference. No need to track the descending nihilism of the Republican Party. The urban-rural divide is a sham.
race  trump 
september 2017
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946)
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery: the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged:
writing  politics 
september 2017
How Intellectuals Create a Public - The Chronicle of Higher Education
The reason for this has less do with the elitism of the intellectual — mine is no brief for an avant garde or philosopher king — than with the existence, really, the nonexistence, of the public. Publics, as John Dewey argued, never simply exist; they are always created. Created out of groups of people who are made and mangled by the actions of other people. Capital acts upon labor, subjugating men and women at work, making them miserable at home. Those workers are not yet a public. But when someone says — someone writes — "Workers of the world, unite!," they become a public that is willing and able to act upon its shared situation. It is in the writing of such words, the naming of such names — "Workers of the world" or "We, the People," even "The Problem That Has No Name" — that a public is summoned into being. In the act of writing for a public, intellectuals create the public for which they write.

This is why the debate over jargon versus plain language is, in this context, misplaced. The underlying assumption of that debate is that the public is simply there, waiting to be addressed. The academic philosopher with his notorious inaccessibility — say, Adorno — obviously has no wish to address the public; the essayist with his demotic presence and proficiency — say, Hazlitt — obviously does. Yet both Adorno and Hazlitt spoke to audiences that did not exist but which they hoped would come into being.
academia  activism  public_amateur 
september 2017
As Artificial Intelligence Advances, What Are its Religious Implications? | Religion & Politics
But beyond speculation, there are ethical questions that need answering now, says J. Nathan Matias, a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab. Matias is co-author of a forthcoming paper on the intersection of AI and religion. “AI systems are already being used today to determine who police are going to investigate,” he says. “They’re used today to do sting operations of people who are imagined as potential future domestic abusers or sexual predators. They’re being used to decide who is going to get [financial] credit or not, based upon anticipated future solvency.” Religious communities should participate in conversations regarding these dilemmas, he says, and should involve themselves in the application of the AI that exists today.
religion  AI 
august 2017
2 × 4: Essay: Designer As Author
Designer as Translator, Performer, or Director. "If we really need to coin a phrase to describe an activity encompassing imaging, editing, narration, chronicling, performing, translating, organizing and directing, I'll conclude with a suggestion:

designer = designer."
design  theory 
august 2017
Computing Machinery and Intelligence A.M. Turing
Turing's definitive paper. Note limitations and affordances; also Matthew mentioned the gender stuff at work even here.
history  AI 
august 2017
exhaustice listibg of appliances and most common ailments/fixes
july 2017
My Favorite Interview Questions
great interview questions here, suitable for many contexts
july 2017
Podcasts : Kids & Family : NPR
family friendly podcasts for travel
family  children  podcast 
april 2017
Experience and perceptions of ‘children’s research’ and the educational turn - un Magazine 7.1 - un Projects
Like ourselves children establish and test hypothesis and research to ‘know’ and explore ‘truths’. In this article I look at the multiple learning positions of spectators and participants in arts practices and expose new pedagogical approaches that build upon this positioning within an educational paradigm.
art  research  teaching  education 
april 2017
Media dis&dat: Nick Dupree
Nick also gained national social media attention when he and his partner decided it was safest to stay in their 12th floor apartment in lower Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy hit NY City in 2012. In addition to people on social media rallying to make sure Nick and his partner were safe, their experience brought national attention to the inadequacy of New York City's disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. NPR's Talk of the Nation devoted a show to the problem. New Mobility magazine wrote about the issue and featured Nick in a 2013 cover story. 
booklink  writing 
march 2017
Mary Beard · The Public Voice of Women · LRB 20 March 2014
Looking at modern traditions of oratory more generally, we also find that same single area of licence for women to talk publicly, in support of their own sectional interests, or to parade their victimhood. If you search out the women’s contributions included in those curious compendia, called ‘one hundred great speeches of history’ and the like, you’ll find that most of the female highlights from Emmeline Pankhurst to Hillary Clinton’s address to the UN conference on women in Beijing are about the lot of women.
march 2017
building 4: creative fidelity - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
And this is what we have to do with all our labourers; to look for the thoughtful part of them, and get that out of them, whatever we lose for it, whatever faults and errors we are obliged to take with it. For the best that is in them cannot manifest itself, but in company with much error.
creativity  technology  ayjay 
february 2017
False Idols of the Enlightenment: Q&A with Pankaj Mishra | Ratik Asokan
We have to recognize that the modern world was predicated on the notion of mimicry and imitation. Which makes people more and more alike than different. And it makes them more vulnerable to experiencing the same ressentiment when their particular identities are under threat, when their stability is threatened, when their jobs are taken away.
There are certain pathologies that are common to all of these people: whether they are Indians uprooted from their rural areas to the cities; or middle Americans laid off by an opaque global capitalist economy they can’t understand. In both cases, they seek an easily identifiable enemy and find those closest to hand: immigrants, women, elite.
history  politics 
february 2017
The fragility of platforms
Simply, antifragility is defined as a convex response to a stressor or source of harm (for some range of variation), leading to a positive sensitivity to increase in volatility (or variability, stress, dispersion of outcomes, or uncertainty, what is grouped under the designation "disorder cluster").
february 2017
growth and form
I also hinted at the moral, the theological, and the literary-imaginative uses of the immensely rich concept of form. In light of all this it’s worth noting that by general consent the most remarkable endeavor in the history of biological morphology is D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s massive and magisterial On Growth and Form — over 1100 pages in its second edition of 1942.
ayjay  form  design 
january 2017
Eurozine - Talent, intuition, creativity - Edith Ackermann, Urs Hirschberg On the limits of digital technologies
Both "situated" learning and "embodied" cognition emphasize the importance of being-in-the world, being in touch with things – literally touching things – as a lever to thinking. And no one puts it more eloquently than Francis Bacon in his famous quote: "Neither the bare hand nor the unaided intellect has much power; the work is done by tools and assistance, and the intellect needs them as much as the hand."[9] Giving the mind a hand suggests that much of the knowledge we have gained is knowledge-in-action: we think and act at the same time! Giving the hand a tool further suggests that the materials we explore, and the tools we use, are instrumental in helping expand and mediate our action in the world.
ackermann  writers  design 
january 2017
The 11.13.16 Issue - The New York Times
Letter responses about the hospital gown, companion to the six designers' challenges.
december 2016
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